I’m seriously considering to stop taking breakfast at the regular cafe that I patronized almost every morning before I go to work, as I could not stop myself from observing my surrounding and feels bad about certain things that I see. I’ve lost track of how many articles that was inspired during my breakfast session. The previous one was about an old lady who had been sent away to live in an old folks homes. And today, again, I saw things that displease me.
I was starting to get irritated when my usual cuppa tea and half boil eggs with toasts came rather late, but instead of getting up to remind the waitress who took my order to get me my breakfast, my attention was diverted to another table nearby that’s occupied by four individuals. An elderly woman, a young man and his wife as well as their baby-age probably less than three month, as the baby still haven’t start teething yet.
So a family of four was having breakfast. Nothing wrong with the picture to me, until the baby let out a very loud wail, and instantly, the mother of the child allowed the baby to be snatched away from her arms to be cradled by the grandmother, who seems anxious about the grandchild, cooing to the baby all the way until the child’s wail were subsided into muffled sobs.
I heard the old lady spoke in Cantonese, chiding to her son in law and daughter, saying that she have been right in insisting that she took care of the baby, seeing how clueless the parents are in childcare. I was immediately aghast with her words. For a moment, I wondered if I heard correctly. Apparently, my ears did not fail me. I did heard correctly. The elder woman did say that the parents of the child are not good parents, and is not qualified to take care of their own baby. Okay, fine, that’s none of my business. But as I watched a while longer over my almost forgotten breakfast, I noticed another thing, which is the parents hardly give any attention at all to the baby, as if they do not care of the baby’s cries for attention or needs. They simply allowed the grandmother to handle everything and made no attempt to interfere at all.
Then after a moment, the parents stood up, bidding the elderly woman goodbye and tell her that they will come to visit her and their baby in a week or two, and to pick the baby for an immunization to be done in Johore. Apparently, the couple is living in Johore and had somehow left their child to live with the grandmother. Even at the mention of immunization, the elder woman was rather reluctant to allow the parents to bring her grandchild away from her. So she had insisted that they bring her along. The couple agreed instantly and rushed away, not even kissing or hugging their baby goodbye. The child remained in the grandmother’s protective clutches.
A question came to my mind. Is this the right thing to do? To allow your parents to raise your child for you in your hometown while you go and work elsewhere, and only see your child one week once or fortnightly once? Is it a trend that I am missing that young parents with career these days do not get involve much in bringing up their children?
All the dirty job was left to either the grandparents, nanny, babysitters or even child day care and nurseries. Majority of working parents opt the easy way out of the parenting job by handing it over to others. They do not get involve with the feeding, what more changing diapers or teaching their children proper manners and etiquette. The parents definitely missed out the time the child’s first tooth started to grow, the first words, the first crawl or even first few steps taken by the child while learning to walk. The parents would missed all of the beautiful things that happened during their child’s growing up process.
I had known that somehow it’s been a norm in some families to let the grandparents raise the young ones, but I definitely had not known that they played very little part in their children’s upbringing- most only contributed money to the ones who are taking care of their child where their child’s well being is concern. So is parenting these days is about sending your child to your parents or your in laws to be taken care of, and you only contributed money so that your child will be fed and well clothed?
Who is the real parents here, you or your parents? I could not understand modern women these days, they wanted to become mother, willing to let the stomach be bloated like some hot air balloon and go through labor pain but not willing to take care or involved much in raising their own child. Hell some mothers do not even know how to take care of their children properly and spoil their children like hell when they finally take their children to live with them again, probably at the age of five or six, where all the awkward times during childhood had passed. Disciplining the child is definitely out of question.
Again, my question here is, why bother giving birth to your child just to satisfy your own maternal need and to stop your biological clock from tick-tocking and drives you insane? Why bother, when all you did after the child’s birth, you parceled your child away to be taken care by your old folks and you only see your kid once in a while? Don’t give me the bullshits about being too busy with work. You ought to know when you decided to have a baby that the responsibility of raising a child is huge and sacrifices in time and career is required of you. So why send your child away to be taken care of? Even animals are more involved in raising their young than modern people these days.
Call me old fashion, but I come from a family where my father and mother took care of me themselves since I was a wailing infant to this very day, though I’m all grown up, married and all. There’s not a day in my parent’s life that they left me to be taken care by both of my grandparents, maternal and paternal alike. My own grandparents are strictly grandparents, how they should be, where my parents would bring me to visit them once in a while so that my grandparents would dote one me and then they would bring me back with them and raise me with their very bare hands. I definitely do not mistake my grandmother for being my mother when I was younger like children these days do.
And yes, before you ask me about my childhood, my father did clean up my poop and I even pee on his head while he’s sleeping him when I was a baby(this is one bloody story my dad would tell people over and over again when he talked about raising children to this very damn day, pretty embarrassing for me)- he even bathe me when I was barely three days old, I have loads of my naked pictures to prove that. Squealing and wriggling in my father arms while he bathe me while my mother looked on very anxiously. And yes, my mother did get her fair share of my tantrums when I refused to eat vegetable that she sneaked in my porridge. My parents did not allow my grandparents to even interferre in my upbringing, and I was their firstborn, no less. They had no experience in handling babies whatsoever when they had me, and yet, they do not throw me to my grandparents to be taken care of like modern parents these days.
I doubt most of modern parents these days share the same experience as my parents. They are barely parents, to even begin with. More like an ATM machine rather than parents, I must say.
Cleffairy: As parents, do play important role in your children’s upbringing as parents. Please do not just be an ATM machine to them.